How It All Began
Heavenly Head Massage is a unique massage style which I have developed. This is the story how it came about. It’s a very personal story, and to be able to relate to it, you need to understand where I am coming from.
I am primarily a Thai Massage therapist. I have been living in Thailand for most of my massage career – almost two decades now. Therefore my experiences and observations are seen through the lens of a Thai Massage therapist.
Heavenly Head Massage was not planned, but rather a natural, spontaneous development that grew out of my massage practice. Actually, it started earlier than that…
Childhood memories that last a lifetime
I always remember, when I was a little boy, my mother would often sit on my bed at night and rub my head until I fell asleep. I still remember that it felt really good to me.
This just shows you how powerful massage can be. In my case the memory of touch is still there many decades later.
In search of good head massage
When I began my Thai Massage career, I wanted to recreate this wonderful feeling that I remembered from all these decades ago. Although head and face massage is normally part of Thai Massage, I soon found out that it is treated more like an afterthought.
Some therapists do it, and some don’t, but there is no real technique or sequence or style. Sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it feels quite rough. I kept looking for therapists who had a great touch for head massage, and I found out that there weren’t many.
Looking for a better way
I had two issues with the way head massage is generally done in Thailand:
1. Unpleasant techniques
Sometimes the techniques felt good, and sometimes outright painful. Here are some examples:
- Many Thai therapists tend to press hard with their thumbs into your temples as if they want to drill a hole into them.
- Another typical and very strange Thai massage technique is that therapists do ‘chopping’ with the edge of their hands on the forehead. This feels quite jarring, and I could never see any benefit in this strange technique.
- The Thai therapists also like to press really hard into a point right below the eyebrows. Maybe there is a meridian point there, but as far as I am concerned, I’d rather feel good than getting a headache from someone drilling into a meridian point.
I thought that I would love to receive a wonderful head massage which only feels good with no unpleasant therapeutic quirks. So I started to pay close attention to what the therapists were doing that did feel good.
2. Uncomfortable sequencing
This is the sequence of most typical Thai Massage sessions in Thailand:
- The therapists go through their full body routine for the main part of the session.
- Towards the end of the session they do a little head and face massage for a few minutes.
- After that, for the conclusion of the session, they sit you up and do quite vigorous work on your back and shoulders which often includes rather intense stretches, spinal twists, and vigorous ‘chopping’.
My issue with this sequence is that especially for westerners, the sitting position is the least comfortable position, since you have to sit cross legged and keep your spine erect. This part of a Thai Massage session feels the least like a massage and more like an assisted yoga session.
Getting on the right track with creativity and innovation
It seemed obvious to me that it would be better to change this sequence. The head and face massage should come at the very end of the session.
This would enable clients to totally relax and enjoy the final minutes of the session instead of being put through a series of power stretches and twists, and being pummeled with back chopping.
So I eliminated all unpleasant or potentially painful techniques from the head massage and I placed it at the very end of my massage sessions. The result was that all my clients loved it.
The quest for massage heaven
Then I went on a quest to research and collect the best techniques for neck, head and face massage. When I couldn’t find them, I created them. It was a perfect example of the fact that if you love what you do, you tend to get very good at it.
At this point there was no Heavenly Head Massage modality yet, but I was slowly building the foundation of what was to become a real massage system.
First my intention had only been to add some really heavenly techniques to the end of my Thai Massage sessions. However in the end I collected and created so many techniques, that it became obvious that this was an entire massage modality.
Now you know the story of how Heavenly Head Massage began. But that’s just the beginning. To find out how this style became such an exquisitely wonderful experience and amazing therapeutic tool, read the second part of the story here.
If you would like to learn Heavenly Head Massage, check out our online training course:
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 18 years, and he is the creator of 20 Thai Massage online training courses.